Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer

The Building, PV Panels, and Us…

this is what we need to meet our goal of making the Lincoln School a “net zero” building.

Make no mistake, this is an ambitious goal that requires careful planning, attention to detail, and conscious decisions about how we use the building. A further complexity of meeting our goal is the fact that this is essentially a renovation project, not new construction. This Wednesday, August 15th, 7pm, Hartwell Multipurpose room, the SBC invites you to join us for a meeting that will focus on the many sustainability components of the project.

The Building: The “building envelope” and the type of heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) system we choose both have a huge impact on the efficiency of the building.

Building Envelope: This is made up of the walls, roof, and windows.  To have a building that uses the least amount of energy, the school must be protected by a continuous and substantial layer of insulation. Because the Lincoln School was originally built as separate buildings in numerous phases between 1948 and 1994, the current campus has many different types of construction. So what does that mean for the project?

  • To meet our goal of a building that generates as much energy as it consumes (“net zero”) we must create a unified building envelope.
  • Only a small portion (about 20 – 25%) of the project is new construction.
  • In general, most of the exterior walls will need to be rebuilt to meet current structural codes and to accommodate the necessary insulation.

HVAC System: According to the guidelines adopted by Lincoln in 2008, a net zero building cannot rely on fossil fuels for heating or cooking because they are not (easily) renewable sources of energy. Currently the school is heated by natural gas boilers. The project is looking at new HVAC and kitchen systems that will be all-electric, offset by electricity generated by PV panels (see below).

Photovoltaic (PV) Panels: Another key component of net zero is energy generation to offset electricity consumption.  Where? How? On August 15th, the design team will introduce a preliminary PV plan that shows the location of panels on the roof and over parking lots.

Us: The third big factor is, of course, us – get used to hearing the term “plug loads”! Plug load simply refers to all of the stuff we plug into an outlet – computers, coffee pots, science lab equipment, copy machines, microwaves, electric pencil sharpeners, lava lamps…you get the idea. This will be a topic of many future conversations!


TWO SESSIONS: 8am – 10am & 7pm – 9pm, Brooks Gym

August 8th Recap: The SBC spent a lot of time talking about the site plan and design ideas for the new part of the building which will house the dining commons, kitchen, and administrative offices. Click here to see the slide presentation, and here to watch the meeting video.

Coming Next: The SBC will be meeting on the following dates:

  • August 15th – Focus on Sustainability
  • August 22nd – Floor Plans, Site Plans, Exterior Design
  • August 29th – Updates on everything!
  • September 12th – Finalize Floor Plans, Site Plans, Exterior Design, Systems and Sustainability so that we can send it all to the cost estimators!


There are no comments yet

Thoughts? Comments? Questions?

%d bloggers like this: